RE: Transition Schools, essay
Date: April 7, 1997
Good essay with many very important points, especially the tendency to lump “these kinds of kids”
into one category.
Relatively new to placing students, post “emotional growth”, I found that completion of a program
is very important. Schools tended to be impressed if a child had completed a long term placement. I think this is an important
point to be made to schools by parents and consultants.
Mary Jane Freeman
|RE: Transition Schools, Issue #45, April 1997
Thank you for addressing a growing confusion in the field of “private school special education”,
regarding terminology used to describe schools and programs. This broad umbrella of services developed to serve adolescents
and their families has created a new view of education. Schools and programs have been developed over the last 18 years by educators
who want to make a positive impact in the lives of young people. This work has also attracted “big business interest”, since
these schools and programs can become highly profitable.
Many schools have added clinical staff in order to become eligible for additional sources of revenue,
such as insurance companies and state contracts. Other schools have been founded by clinically trained psychotherapists, or
have added clinical personnel in an effort to incorporate clinical treatment in the school model. This is a new presentation
of an old model we have known as “treatment center”.
If clinical staff is needed for diagnostic or individual therapy, and the program is treatment
oriented, then let us call it what it is, a treatment center. If the focus is emotional growth, communication skills, peer counseling,
and academic education, clinical treatment and supervision will not be needed as part of the general curriculum.
Treatment centers that are client centered and ethically administrated are desperately needed.
Schools that integrate emotional growth, values clarification, work ethic, and a good mentoring system are needed more than
ever in our dollar driven culture.
We have arrived at an important juncture in private school special education. It is my sincere
hope that we will move forward in our effort to address the needs of students.
“The pursuit of happiness becomes the pursuit of answers to the wrong questions. We little realize
to what feverish extent all psychologies promote anxiety—in parents, in children, in therapists, in researchers, and in the
field itself as it extends its searchings into evermore “problem areas.” Everything seems to call for studies, research, analyzing;
aging, business management, sports, sleep, and the methods of research itself. Restless inquiry is not the only kind of knowing,
self- examination is not the only kind of awareness. Appreciation of an image, your life story studded with images since early
childhood, and a deepening into them slows the restlessness of inquiry, laying to rest the fever and the fret of finding out.
By its very definition given by Thomas Aquainas in his Summa theologia, beauty arrests motion. Beauty is itself a cure for psychological
- James Hillman, THE SOUL’S CODE In Search Of Character And Calling